Diverse picture books to celebrate Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day is such a special day to give thanks to those who gave us life and continue to nurture and uplift us. There is nothing quite like the warmth and security of your mom’s touch, kind words, and assurance that everything will be alright.

Mother’s Day may look differently depending on family structures, but it’s a celebration that is equally valued regardless of family dynamics. With Mother’s Day just a few weeks away, here are some of my favorite books to celebrate and honor mothers each and every day.

Stella Brings the Family by Miriam B. Schiffer, Holly Clifton-Brown (Illustrator)

Stella’s class is having a special celebration for Mother’s Day and she isn’t quite sure who she should invite to the party. When her classmates find out that she has two dads and no mom, they have plenty of questions and she explains that dads can make lunches, read bedtime stories, and kiss boo boos too. In the end, Stella finds a solution and realizes that there are many diverse families represented in her classroom.

Grandma’s Purse by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Visits from Grandma Mimi are filled with hugs, special treats, and all the magical things found in her purse. This tribute to grandmas around the world will have children and adults reminiscing about all the beautiful moments spent with grandmothers. 

Hush! A Thai Lullaby by Minfong Ho, Holly Meade (Illustrator)

A mother repeatedly and rhythmically implores animals to stay quiet as her baby is trying to sleep. Unbeknownst to the mom, her baby is awake regardless of her efforts. 

Just Like a Mama by Alice Faye Duncan, Charnelle Pinkney Barlow (Illustrator)

Little Carol’s mother and father live far away, so she lives with Mama Rose, who is just like a mama to her. She combs her hair and buttons her coats. She teaches her how to make her bed, tell time, and even how to ride a bike. Mama Rose uplifts her with encouraging words and loves her just like a mama.

Mommy’s Khimar by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, Ebony Glenn (Illustrator)

A little Muslim girl enjoys playing dress up in her mother’s closet. She finds so many colorful khimars that she can’t wait to try on. While wearing her mom’s khimars she feels invincible. She envisions herself as a bird, shooting star, superhero, and even a queen. 

Cora Cooks Pancit by Dorina K. Lazo Gilmore, Kristi Valiant (Illustrator)

Cora loves working in the kitchen and is excited when she finally gets a chance to be Mama’s assistant chef. Usually she only gets to lick the spoon or do other kid jobs, but this time she gets to help Mama make her favorite noodle dish, pancit. 

In My Anaana’s Amautik by Nadia Sammurtok, Lenny Lishchenko (Illustrator)

Told through the eyes of a baby nestled closely to its mother, this story is a beautiful invitation celebrating the warmth and safety inside an amautik (the pouch of a mother’s parka used to carry a child). The text and illustrations do a beautiful job of reinforcing the relationship between child and mother while highlighting Inuit culture.

Bedtime Bonnet by Nancy Amanda Redd, Nneka Myers (Contributor)

When a bonnet goes missing before bedtime, this family works together to locate it and find it in an unlikely place. Durags, wave caps, and bonnets are celebrated in this beautiful story highlighting Black nighttime hair traditions and loving family values. 

My Mama is a Mechanic by Doug Cenko

Mom’s wear many hats, sometimes they are surgeons, chemists, and even mechanics. From repairing stuffed animals, cooking amazing meals and fixing bikes, the job is never done. This story explores the beauty of motherhood through the eyes of a child and breaks gender stereotypes of motherhood.

Mommy, Mama, and Me by Leslea Newman, Carol Thompson (Illustrator)

This story takes you through everyday moments that make up days with Mommy and Mama including playing at the playground, cooking, and reading bedtime stories. Witness the loving bond between same-sex parents and their child through rhythmic text and beautiful illustrations.

Brown Baby Lullaby by Tameka Fryer Brown, A.G. Ford (Illustrator)

Beautiful depiction of the perfect day with a family returning from a picnic and preparing for dinner then bedtime. With Afro Latinx references sprinkled throughout, the poetic rhythm creates a lyrical lullaby celebrating the love these parents have for their baby.

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